Here’s what’s been going on in the compliance world this week:
- Yahoo UK fined over cyber-attack: The UK subsidiary of Yahoo has been fined GBP 250,000 by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) over a data breach that occurred in 2014. The incident was only reported two years later. The ICO determined that the company had not taken appropriate measures to protect itself and its customer’s data. The data stolen included customer’s names, emails, answers to security questions. The investigation took place under the UK 1988 Data Protection Act, which has since been superseded by the GDPR. Yahoo would have been liable for much higher fines under the GDPR.
- Spanish minister resigns over tax fine: Maxim Huerta, Spain’s culture minister resigned on Wednesday after reports emerged that he had avoided paying taxes ten years ago while working as a TV journalist. The amount of tax he had avoided paying was in excess of EUR 200,000. The minister maintained that he was absolutely innocent and said that the penalty was a result of changing criteria used by the tax authority. Huerta was only appointed to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s cabinet last week. Sanchez was installed after former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was ousted from office following a ruling which held that his party, the People’s Party (PP), had directly benefitted from corruption.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu questioned over corruption allegations: Netanyahu was interviewed by police in his home on Monday in connection with one of three corruption cases in which the Prime Minister has become ensnarled. The allegations relate to an incident known as Case 4000 and involve dealing between Netanyahu and telecommunications company, Bezeq Telecom. IT is alleged that Walla, a newspaper owned by Bezeq, gave Netanyahu favorable coverage in exchange for regulatory benefits. However, the Prime Minister has not been formally named in the investigation and he has denied all involvement. Police revealed earlier in the year that they had enough evidence in two other corruption cases to recommend indicting Netanyahu.
- Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli extradited from U.S.: The former president was taken into custody in June 2017 after charges were filed alleging that he spied on over 150 political rivals during his term in office lasting from 2009 to 2014. Martinelli has denied the charges and alleges that he is the victim of a vendetta against him by current Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, his former vice president. Martinelli is the subject of an investigation in Panama over involving an additional 20 cases of corruption, which are not related to his extradition.
- Ukraine opens “Corruption Park” and forms new corruption court: President Poroshenko signed a bill into law on Monday calling for the formation of a new anti-graft court. The formation of the court was a key requirement for the country to qualify for up to USD 2 billion in aid. The country has also been in the news for installing an exhibition named “Corruption Park” in Kiev’s botanical gardens in a bid to shed light on the problem of corruption. The exhibition is hosted by the European Union’s Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine in cooperation with local officials in Kiev. The park contains exhibitions including confiscated riches from corrupt politicians and virtual reality and 3D installations. The effort is aimed at informing young people who have become too tolerant of corruption, in the eyes of the organizers.